Archive -Writing on the Edge 2018

Archive -Writing on the Edge 2018

Composing Beyond Boundaries

College of DuPage

October 20, 2018

The National Day on Writing (October 20th) was also our fourth annual Writing on the Edge conference for adjunct and contingent faculty. The theme, “Composing Beyond Boundaries,” highlighted writing across the curriculum, and faculty from all disciplines attended to join in the conversation.   Writing on the Edge is the ONLY regional conference organized by and for adjunct and contingent faculty in the Chicago area.



Keynote SpeakerPicture of Shelley Rodrigo

Shelley Rodrigo Associate Director of the Writing Program Associate Professor of English University of Arizona Keynote Address: Moving from “Writing to Learn” to “Multimedia-to-Learn”: How and Why







Breakout Sessions

 Information Fluency and Metacognition

 Un-Research: Deconstructing the Research Paper
Amanda Smothers (College of DuPage, Elgin Community College, Harper College, Waubonsee Community College)

Students go through the motions of compiling research and writing the research paper, but how much do they internalize the importance of quality research in forming academic arguments? In this session, we will explore the success of the “Un-Research Project” in helping students recognize the importance of finding credible sources by dismantling the research paper process. Participants will be provided with access to a website where they can explore materials for adaptation and application in their own classrooms.

Crossing Boundaries to Success by Improving Student Executive Functioning Skills
Meg Carey (College of DuPage)

Successful academic writing depends largely on a student’s executive functioning skills such as goal setting, planning, prioritizing, organizing, task transitioning, and self-monitoring. Often times struggling students have difficulty identifying the issues which contribute to their frustration with writing, and, as a result, do not know where to begin toward applying learning strategies to address the issues. This presentation will center on the students’ deepening self-awareness of their writing process and the strategies used to address writing difficulties. Participants will take a brief executive functioning survey which we will use as a talking point, and the results will serve as the basis for actionable goals created by participants.


Developing ESL Students’ Information Fluency

Wendy Maloney (College of DuPage)

Students coming from other countries have a range of experience with American libraries, creating the potential for linguistic and cultural confusion in addition to the challenges typical for students doing college research. In this session, we will explore ways to address the particular needs of English as a Second Language students as they learn to find academic resources for their writing projects. Whether you teach ESL, English, or another subject, you are invited to hear suggestions for easing ESL students into American academic library use and share your own experiences.


Building Your Professional CV Through Scholarly Academic Publishing: Crucial Information for Publishing Your Research

James Magrini (College of DuPage)

This seminar provides information for professors/academics who are seeking to publish their work in academic journals or with book publishers. We will deal with such topics as publishing your first article; publishing book reviews; things to know about publishing such as subsidy (“vanity”) publishing in academics; preparing and getting a book proposal accepted, either a monograph or edited anthology; what to avoid when seeking to get your work published; why getting published is simultaneously a form of both professional and personal development; and serving as a referee for a journal or publishing house.


Negotiating a Road into New Territory: In-Class Workshops

Glynis Benbow-Niemier (College of DuPage) and Margaret Hernandez (College of DuPage)

Writing, Reading, Speech Assistance (WRSA) has its home in College of DuPage’s Learning Commons, but over the last year, we have created a menu of workshops to take “on the road”—these workshops are more interactive and can incorporate class-specific materials. We will talk about our planning & research; the training of our coaches; early data collection; the collaborative nature of our work with instructors; and identify some of the hurdles we have run into and cleared–or not cleared.


 Scaffolding for Success

The Literature Review as Bridge: Structuring Argument
Jennifer Finstrom (DePaul University)

When I added a literature review assignment between the annotated bibliography and the first essay draft in my First-Year Writing courses, I was happily surprised at how the literature review created an important bridge to the first draft from preliminary source finding to providing a sense of thematic structure. Session attendees will do a short brainstorming assignment with a chart that I use in my class; there will also be small and large group discussions about essay structure as it pertains to making an argument with source material and assignments that can foster productive awareness.

The Thesis Workshop: How to Effectively Embrace Student Procrastination
Christine Wilson (College of DuPage, North Central College)

More often than not, students begin writing the week of their due date, even after having the prompt for weeks. While we as instructors have come to expect this, the student leaves the learning situation with the same level of knowledge, some may argue even less. Taking a page out of our K-12 colleagues’ book, we must scaffold our writing units more. This presentation discusses small steps on the front-end we can do to better aid our writers, such as building in a thesis workshop a week into any major writing assignment. Effectively modeling the foundation of a paper for students, especially developmental writers, makes a profoundly positive impact on their process and writing trajectory.


Crossing Boundaries and Shifting Horizons: Helping Students Navigate Changing Entry Points in College Writing

Jennifer Ingersoll (DePaul University, North Park University), Melissa Pavlik (Harry S Truman College, North Park University), and Tatiana M. Uhoch (Chicago City Colleges)

When many students are celebrating their acceptance into college, how do we teach them that there are other boundaries to cross and new horizons to seek? This one-hour interactive panel will explore how to encourage writing students to establish rituals that allow them to face transitions within the academy as well as transfer academic skills to their professional lives.  Attendees will have an opportunity to discuss how they can implement what Michelle L. Simpson calls “reality check” assignments in their own classrooms, coaching students to understand expectations and requirements of new discourse communities they seek to enter.


 Re-Creating and Connecting

Networking: Building your Interdependent Community
Sabina Zeynalova (College of DuPage, Elgin Community College)

Networking is key to success, yet what do most of us actually do to build a solid network? Join me in an interactive session on networking and engage in hands-on community building activities. We will explore concrete examples of how to shift away from the self-sufficient, isolated and “stuck in the same cycle” paradigm to a mutually interdependent, interconnected, and dynamic paradigm of professional and social opportunities and growth.

Re-Creating Yourself as an Adjunct Professor
Linda Reinert (Elmhurst College)

For almost every day of my first semester as an adjunct, I wished I had had someone with whom to share concerns or breakthroughs. In this presentation, I will explore the myths about being an adjunct. For me, being an adjunct has become making dreams come true about closer to 1-1 teaching, but I could have avoided unexpected stresses in my transition from high school to college teaching if I had known what I do now about re-creating myself as an adjunct professor.


 Cross-Cultural Communication

Implementing Peer Review into Beginning Foreign Language Classes
Miglena Nikolova (College of DuPage)

Even though the use of peer review has been extensively researched, there are no clear guidelines on how to effectively implement peer review in the foreign language classroom. This presentation offers a complete framework for effective implementation into language courses. The frame of reference includes peer review strategies for English as a first and/or second language as well as foreign language instruction. Guiding materials and examples will be provided.

Incorporating Social Awareness in the Classroom:  Teaching Information Literacy Through Technology
Amy Camp (College of DuPage)

Though technological advances are thought to bring people of different cultures and backgrounds closer together, they can often isolate people into homogeneous groups where different opinions are not apparent.  Ethnography can help break down barriers to help students gain an awareness and appreciation of others.  Information literacy is key in helping students become effective contributors to the scholarly conversation, and ethnographic assignments can be a unique way to incorporate information literacy into the curriculum.  In this presentation, participants will participate in a conversation to discuss ways to incorporate ethnographic assignments that teach information literacy to students in introductory English classrooms.


Un-Limit Your Students:  Using Multiple Electronic Resources to Meet Learning Outcomes 

Kelly Manuelidis (Cengage)

This presentation will discuss how to use Cengage Unlimited to unlock multiple resources for your students.  This program builds the critical thinking and writing skills students will use far beyond their English courses, using real-world learning activities and resources.  Enhance and supplement your course content with additional media, readings, and foundational support.  Develop more competent writers with content that supports every learning style and level, and increases students learning outcomes.  Come see how to un-limit your students’ learning.


Students as Travelers: Signposts for Interdisciplinary Understanding across Boundaries in Learning Landscapes

Jennifer Kelley (College of DuPage) and Joshua Ruddy (University of Chicago)

As students mature as learners, they begin to create more knowledge along the boundaries of the space they travel through at their institutions – borders between disciplines, between the curricular and co-curricular, and more. This presentation will discuss the student as a traveler and seek to develop ideas for teaching across the entire learning landscape. In this interactive discussion, two instructors provide insight into their roles as mediators guiding students to knowledge and empowerment through collaborative talk, management of expectations, and interpretation of academic language.


 Diverse Perspectives – Individualized Learning

Importance of Assessing and Understanding Learning Styles for College Students
Bruce Bloom (Robert Morris University)

This workshop focuses on the ten learning styles and 35 self-assessment questions on the Learning Styles Inventory to determine participants’ preferred learning styles. After completing the self-assessment, the student answers several short answer essay questions to reinforce their preferred learning styles with specific examples. I will share my results from five classes where the Learning Styles Inventory was administered.

Understanding the Impact of Culture in Writing
Carola Llanes (College of DuPage)

The interaction between teaching and learning is affected by many factors. Factors, such as weather and access to resources and technology, can be modified according to the needs that arise. Other factors, such as cultural differences, social values and diverse world views, are not easy to manage because they are difficult to understand and process. Does this affect writing? Yes, greatly. Understanding the effect of such phenomena will give every educator power to make decisions and create resources that will enhance their teaching practices and educational and professional environment.


 Cohorts: Bridging the Divide

Aleisha Balestri (Wilbur Wright Community College), Kelly Kristof (College of DuPage, Wilbur Wright Community College), and Cathy Oswald (National Louis University, Wilbur Wright Community College)

This panel will discuss the use of cohorts and similar learning communities to better support adjuncts, bridge the divide between full-time and part-time faculty, and deal with challenges particular to teaching First Year Composition. Cohorts will allow adjuncts the opportunity to interact with their peers, gain significant leadership experience, share ideas and solutions, and achieve focused Student Learning Outcomes. We will also discuss how such a structure can be created by adjuncts if not supported by their teaching institution.


 Can You Cite Fake News? Improving Students’ Analysis with Legal Writing Tools

Elizabeth McGuan (College of DuPage)

Lawyers use a technique known by the acronym IRAC, which stands for Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion, in order to organize their analysis. After an explanation of the IRAC method, and a demonstration of its use by the Supreme Court in a landmark case, participants assume the roles of prosecutor, defense counsel, and jury in a hands-on exercise, applying IRAC to a hypothetical case—is there enough evidence to convict? The presentation concludes with suggestions on ways to modify IRAC to assist students in all disciplines to support a thesis statement with credible authority and perform a well-reasoned analysis.


Why Writing Essays is Still Okay and What to Do When It’s Not

John Hayward (Waubonsee Community College)

Every content area requires students to use and develop their writing ability. Discover useful instructional strategies and some engaging alternatives for student writing. This one-hour interactive workshop will re-invigorate your approach to teaching with proven strategies and engaging alternatives to traditional writing assignments, and will yield impressive, easy-to-assess results. Topics include why essays are still a valuable form of composition, survival tips for writers who struggle, where to publish student writing, alternatives to traditional essays, and how to assess without stress.


 Reinforcing Media Literacy through Research, Source Evaluation, and Differentiating between Factual Information and “Fake News”

Jeannie Anderson (College of DuPage, Elgin Community College, Waubonsee Community College) and Jennifer Schlau (Elgin Community College)

In the advent of the “Fake News” era, it is imperative that students learn to differentiate between factual and biased news sources. Come learn how an adjunct faculty member and adjunct librarian partnered to create a series of writing assignments and research guide that encourages students to think critically about everyday news sources, synthesize news stories, differentiate between factual and biased information, and draw their own conclusions about the “real story.”


 Anything but an Essay: Maintaining Traditions while Embracing the Tools of Tomorrow

Peter Kanetis (College of DuPage, Moraine Valley Community College) and Eric Tan (College of DuPage, Elmhurst College)

This session is designed to create a dialogue around our favorite teaching methods and the modern challenges our traditional pedagogies face. Our goal is to explore some of the activities, methods, prompts, and projects that help stimulate student centered learning and tackle hands on experiences while holding true to our pedagogical expectations. We encourage all attendees to partake in the discussion, which will be recorded as an episode for the podcast, “Classroom Hacks”


 Writing to Learn: Using Informal Writing to Increase Student Engagement, Critical Thinking and Comprehension

Patti Tylka (College of DuPage)

Writing-to-learn activities are short, informal, impromptu, low-stakes opportunities for students to engage in critical thinking and deepen their comprehension while they practice discipline-specific writing conventions.   Participants can use tablets, tablets, laptops, or paper to practice a variety of writing activities that can be easily adapted to any discipline. We will write individually and collaboratively, share and refine the writing, and discuss modifications and variations.